DIY shrimp tank plans - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 51 (permalink) Old 07-08-2007, 07:44 AM Thread Starter
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DIY shrimp tank plans

I've been kicking around a few ideas for an acrylic shrimp tank and would like as much input as you all are willing to give. This will be my first DIY tank, so I want to make sure I'm thinking everything out correctly before I really get going. So, it would be much appreciated if anyone could look things over and tell me if I'm over thinking anything, forgetting anything, or just point out any flaws you might see.

The idea I have below is a long, low profile tank with simplicity in mind, built-in machanical and bio filtration running on a single powerhead. The out flow will run under the substrate, my plan is to have threaded caps at either end of the long tube as it protrudes through the tank walls, so I can take off the PH and outlet grate, cap off each, then open the threaded caps to allow a brush to be pulled through... I just haven't quite worked out where the trapped water in that tube will go besides all over the counter. Is my powerhead config even going to work like this?? What flow rate is enough to push an overflow design like this and how might the length of the tank effect that? Please crit.

(no dimensions yet)


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Last edited by jaidexl; 08-04-2007 at 07:39 AM.
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post #2 of 51 (permalink) Old 07-08-2007, 07:10 PM
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The plans look good. I would use a pump instead of a Power head. It will give you more flow. I would also incorporate a spray bar on the output to spread the flow out so you dont have a stong current that the shrimp wont like. I also think that adding some strips of acrylic in the "Overflow" area will allow you to use egg crate to create different area so you can have different media in the "Overflow" area. You may need to add something to keep the shrimp from falling into the overflow. Other then that I like to design of the tank. When I get time I will probably build one of the same design.


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post #3 of 51 (permalink) Old 07-08-2007, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for that info internal or external pump? Anyone know of the best sources for compact internal pumps? I'm thinking I'll want to stick with a flow rate of at least 100gph to compensate for the distance of the return and still have room to put some length on the tank, a small ball valve could be used to adjust flow (again, I have little experience here so this could be way too much power). I'll probably get a few pumps or PHs with different flow rates and experiment in a wooden prototype so I can work out the flow rate and scale of the tank. For now I'm just trying to find one with the outlet closest to the 'top' so I can keep all the plumbing slammed to one side, like I have in the pics, with minimal adjustment to the riser into the PH/pump.


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post #4 of 51 (permalink) Old 07-09-2007, 06:00 AM Thread Starter
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The project has reached scaled status, also included mahamotorworks' spraybar suggestion. Next step is to find a few PHs that fit the plan, some scrap pipe and some wood for a prototype. Then I'll know if I need to step up to a pump with higher flow.

Approximate volume = 11 US gallons



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Last edited by jaidexl; 08-05-2007 at 06:39 AM.
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post #5 of 51 (permalink) Old 07-09-2007, 07:56 AM
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Seems a bit complex, but I really like it. My suggestion is to build it like a traditional built-in-overflowed tank though because you'd get more horizontal room and you wouldn't have to look at the not so visually appealing overflow box and it's contents.

I'll PM you with a sketch I drew up based on your idea and if you like it, then I can't wait to see you execute it. If you don't.. then, oh well
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post #6 of 51 (permalink) Old 07-09-2007, 08:29 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for sending me the sketch, I never thought of doing a concealed corner overflow. Hmm, I dunno though , I sorta like seeing everything, it was those little self contained pico/fuges that originated the idea for me, I've always thought those were cool and a cornerflow would defeat it. I suppose many would see this as ugly or taking away from the aesthetics of the scape... I'll have to ponder that one for a while.


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post #7 of 51 (permalink) Old 07-09-2007, 06:14 PM
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You could always use a tinted acrylic for the filter/pump housing.
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post #8 of 51 (permalink) Old 07-25-2007, 03:42 AM
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I love this idea because it sort of simulates a river, which is the natural habitat for many of our shrimp (please correct me if I'm wrong). So that big overflow would work better I think than a corner overflow for that river effect, and a spraybar would also work better for that river effect again.

I can't wait until this thing starts taking shape!



AND I just realized this thread is like 2 weeks old. Any updates?


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post #9 of 51 (permalink) Old 07-25-2007, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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That's exactly what I had in mind, also why I sketched out the scape that supports the "river flow". I'm glad you noticed. The only thing I'm concerned about is the height I've scaled out, this will be a nice one on the extension of my desk or on the bar separating our kitchen and living room, but the sides allow very little head-on viewing angle, I'm afraid you will have to bend down to really see anything when walking by it.

No updates yet, everything costing money has been put on hold until I get back on my feet, employment is not a pretty subject in these parts for many right now.

In the meantime, I've been reading up on working with acrylic and glass, there's a chance I might make this out of glass instead.


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post #10 of 51 (permalink) Old 07-25-2007, 08:39 AM
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rivers have curves and bends too you know and an overflow is a waterfall, not really a river. the position of the spraybar effects the direction of the current more than the position of the overflow. that's just my experience though.

mind sharing the reasons you might switch to glass? i like acrylic seams better but that's a small issue.
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post #11 of 51 (permalink) Old 07-25-2007, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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Really the only reason I'm considering glass is so I have the option of using this as a reef tank in the future. I don't think acrylic would withstand the trauma of me scraping coraline, or gobies and snail scraping aragonite sand against it. Honestly though, I would do an entirely different design in the overflow area if this were a reef tank, IME reefs this small are self sufficient with nothing more than live rock for filtration along with a powerhead. Maybe I'd leave one compartment for a refuge, but I've already decided my next reef tank will be a green tank with macroalgae growing throughout the display, so a fuge would serve little purpose for anything but pods.


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post #12 of 51 (permalink) Old 08-04-2007, 06:55 AM Thread Starter
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Does anyone think 48w from two 24" T5s would be too much for this (11gl / 6" depth)?

Plant mass will be low, I'd like to be able to grow a good carpet of UG, and will probably add a few vals here and there, nothing thick. I'm thinking tech light, but would 48w be too much? Maybe I can set up peak hours on one bulb.


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post #13 of 51 (permalink) Old 08-04-2007, 07:16 AM
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I think 48w would be fine. Probably overkill but if you kept up with the dosing/CO2 I think you'd be able to grow anything.


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post #14 of 51 (permalink) Old 08-04-2007, 07:38 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input, sandiegoryu.

If I go tek light, I can always hang it higher too, if probs arise. Better to be prepared than not have enough, I suppose. I spent a few hours last night trying to learn how to convert lumens>lux>LSI, chasing lumen ratings down, 5 calculators and ten tabs open, reading reading reading, until I finally gave up and decided to stick with WPG for big tanks, and stick with what works for others on their small tanks. But, this one is super shallow, I don't think any amount of math will ever have the right answer.

Right now I'm taking off 1/4" from the inner panes and adding up square inches and feet to take to a glass guy. I'm pretty set on glass, I'm going to hit up nano-paul at NR for pricing on his 1/4" low iron. I'm not die hard low iron or anything, if the price is insane I'll just use regular glass.


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post #15 of 51 (permalink) Old 08-04-2007, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
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When subtracting the 1/4" from the inside panes, do I also need to subtract room for the seam? The baffle panes will fit inside the tank and I don't want it to be too tight of a squeeze. And I don't want the bottom pushing the sides out, messing up the corner seams.

It is wise to coat the seams with silicone and press them, correct? I was reading a DIY on NR and it looks like they just taped the tank together then ran down the insides with silicone, scary.


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